HREOC Children in Detention Report

14 May 2004

Leaders of the Uniting Church in Australia are calling on the Government to immediately release children and their families from detention and implement all the recommendations of the report from the Human Rights Commission Inquiry into Children in Detention.

"The report from the Inquiry into Children in Detention confirms what we have always known", said Rev Dr Dean Drayton, President of the Uniting Church in Australia. "The Government's policies in this area have lacked compassion and perpetrate abuse upon the most vulnerable of people. This is not the Australia that we want."

Rev. Elenie Poulos, National Director of UnitingJustice said, "Instead of caring for children as precious individuals, we have robbed them of their childhood and stripped them of hope. Jesus would weep."

The Uniting Church has been calling for an end to the Government's inhumane detention policy for many years. We have seen how it destroys the lives of both children and adults. The report confirms that we have breached our international obligations but we have also breached our moral obligations to care for and protect people in need."

Rev Drayton said, "We must immediately release all children and their families from detention and change our policies to ensure that no more children are ever subjected to such harm in our name."